The American Dream & The Zoo Story

The American Dream The Zoo Story Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Albee is one of our most important American playwrights And nowhere is his dramatic genius apparent than in two of his probing early works The American Dream and

  • Title: The American Dream & The Zoo Story
  • Author: Edward Albee
  • ISBN: 9780452278899
  • Page: 317
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Albee is one of our most important American playwrights And nowhere is his dramatic genius apparent than in two of his probing early works, The American Dream and The Zoo Story.The New Yorker hailed The American Dream as unique brilliant a comic nightmare, fantasy of the highest order The story of one of America s mostPulitzer Prize winning author Edward Albee is one of our most important American playwrights And nowhere is his dramatic genius apparent than in two of his probing early works, The American Dream and The Zoo Story.The New Yorker hailed The American Dream as unique brilliant a comic nightmare, fantasy of the highest order The story of one of America s most dysfunctoinal families, it is a ferocious, uproarious attack on the substitution of artificial values for real values a startling tale of murder and morality that rocks middle class ethics to its complacent foundations.The Zoo Story is a harrowing depiction of a young man alienated from the human race a searing story of loneliness and the desperate need for recognition that builds to a violent, shattering climax Together, these plays show men and women at their most hilarious, heartbreaking, and above all, human and demonstrate why Edward Albee continues to be one of our greatest living dramatists.

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      Edward Albee

    About “Edward Albee

    • Edward Albee

      Edward Franklin Albee III was an American playwright known for works including Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf , The Zoo Story, The Sandbox and The American Dream His works are considered well crafted and often unsympathetic examinations of the modern condition His early works reflected a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works by European playwrights such as Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, and Eug ne Ionesco Younger American playwrights, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel, credit Albee s daring mix of theatricalism and biting dialogue with helping to reinvent the post war American theatre in the early 1960s Albee s dedication to continuing to evolve his voice as evidenced in later productions such as The Goat or Who is Sylvia 2000 also routinely marks him as distinct from other American playwrights of his era.Albee himself described his work as an examination of the American Scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, and emasculation and vacuity, a stand against the fiction that everything in this slipping land of ours is peachy keen.

    661 thoughts on “The American Dream & The Zoo Story

    • Mix Lewis Carroll with Jacques Tati, as one criticsuggested when reviewing The American Dream, andyou have a lethal, hilarious and very satiric cocktail This may be his Best Play The cast includes Mommy, Daddy and Young Man who explains his price, for those who can afford it, to the childless duo Albee s comedy puts you in stitches then he yanks em out.

    • For modernism that seems to have been written last week, Albee delivers a passionate account of two different views of Americana Just under the surface, I always believed, Albee was barely in control of himself, pushing the envelope of absurdity because it was than absurd to him he makes it seem all to real, the characters not directly representative but rather being an analogy of whom they seemAn American Dream is about, largely enough of the disintegration of society through lack of concern f [...]

    • Holy Crackers Zoo Story is fantastic Youthful rage and the kind of shock I ve sought for months RIP E Albee You ll be missed.

    • I really like both plays, but this review is about The Zoo Story In order to appreciate it fully you have to understand the driving impulse behind Theatre of the Absurd and the dilemma of the existential condition The play grapples with horror of living an existence of complete dislocation nothing seems connected to anything else Jerry s discovery that he cannot forge a connection with anyone, not even a dog is the foundation of his despair It reminds me very much of Roquentin s experiences in S [...]

    • I can t remember the last time I read The Zoo Story but its power hasn t lessened over the years Here in his first play, Edward Albee is already peerless in his command of vitriolic dialogue unleashing a fury against the status quo, an incisive rage that he sustained throughout his career He may stylize the anger with the satirical The American Dream but even in this latter one act, Albee s poisoned pen drips blood Albee quote That s what happens in plays, yes The shit hits the fan.

    • 5 Stars for a play for the first time.One of the GREATEST plays I ve ever read in my life.Highly recommended fellows.

    • The Zoo Story is a play that has two characters, one setting a bench in Central Park , and performed, is 15 minutes Jerry and Peter have brief exchanges that take on an importance such that the dialogue plays out as an interrogation of communication itself for the audience Jerry challenges Peter s use of formalities or his niceties or even phrases PETER My dear fellow, IJERRY Don t my dear fellow meTER Was I patronizing I believe I was I m sorry But you see, your question about the classes bewil [...]

    • This is an excellent book containing two of Albee s earliest masterworks This is a crash course in the Absurd way of life and understanding I m an Aburdist and not even Camus or Kafka could do for the Absurd what Albee did with it in these two one act plays Of course, Albee would elevate the philosophy and expand upon it even with Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf but The Zoo Story as well as The American Dream serve as a quick one two punch to the existential gut, The Zoo Story having the potenti [...]

    • I realized I forgot to add this to my shelves when I read it in fall 2011 So I ll just do a brief review now These plays were dark, surreal, funny, and kinda metafiction y I really enjoyed them.The American Dream is a story about some fucked up parents and the fucked up relationship they had with their past son Also, a sassy grandma Okay, it s mostly about the sassy grandma The Zoo Story is about a strange encounter in a park between an average joe and a slightly less than average, possibly insa [...]

    • I only read The American Dream It is Albee s look at how the American Dream has changed over time He seems to believe that today the American Dream is only about good looks, shallowness, and materialism I don t disagree with the analysis since many Americans glorify movie actors, sports figures and wealthy corporate owners However, the play was boring and repetitious Even though it is a one act play, it was way too long This was supposed to be a comedy, but I found only one line to be humorous N [...]

    • Fantastic Peter and Jerry are two men with very different stories and lives, one is living the American Dream while the other is struggling to find acceptance and a place in the world But differences sometimes lead to coincidences and that s what happens in Central Park, they coincide in that bench and they have quite a chaotic conversation People can t have everything they want You should know that it s a rule people can have some of the things they want, but they can t have everything.

    • I guess i m into absurdist tales of alienation from modern life I don t even necessarily catch all the themes or symbols, partly I like it just because it s so funny From The American DreamDaddy offstage Mommy I can t find Grandma s television and I can t find the Pekinese either Mommy offstage Isn t that funny And I can t find the water.Grandma Heh, heh, heh I told them everything was hidden.Mrs Barker Did you hide the water too Grandma puzzled No No, I didn t do that Daddy offstage The truth o [...]

    • Albee has long been one of my favourite playwrights, if not my all time favourite suck it, Shakespeare , and The American Dream was as poignant as it was dead on And it will remain to be Zoo Story just blew me away, and I later went on to work with it in a community theatre group.

    • Glancing at all the previous reviews for this book, I see that most people prefer The Zoo Story to The American Dream And that, my friends, is why I am special I jump the other way Although, to be absolutely honest, I m not a huge fan of either one I think Albee might be a tad violent for my taste not violent in the sense that his plays contain violence which these do , but violent in the sense that my overwhelming impression of these plays is one of violence After reading them, I feel like a St [...]

    • The Zoo Story After reading about 15 pages of The Zoo Story it became painfully obvious that it served as the template for Riverside Drive, a Woody Allen play I recently read in his Writer s Block collection But don t take my word for it From the NY Times All that said, Writer s Block is on the stage and not on the screen because it is meant, in part, as a tribute to playwrights to whom Mr Allen evidently feels indebted In Riverside Drive, a comfortably well dressed middle aged man, Jim Swain, i [...]

    • Okay, this collection is my first exposure to Edward Albee, and I have to say that his writings are bizarre in a way that catch me off guard constantly I also have Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf , which I will start soon I think I can only take doses of this playwright at a time, however As for this collection, I will share my thoughts for each play respectively.The Zoo Story This play is my favorite of the two, and it is bizarre in a way that leaves me just kind of sitting there confounded for [...]

    • I have not read The American Dream it is The Zoo Story which I read with great interest and excitement years ago during a Grade 12 English class My group was to perform a scene from The American Dream, but we were finished preparing it and there was still time left over So seeing this other play contained in the same volume, I decided it would be a good way to spend my time.I was rewarded It is a simple one act play two men meet on a park bench, get into a conversation, and it rolls on from ther [...]

    • This book, composed of two plays by the famous writer, Edward Albee, was quite interesting as well as enjoyable I found the first play, The Zoo Story, especially fascinating With the combination of casual, relatable, shocking, and a curious sense of humor as well as drama, this play was very moving The interaction that the reader experiences between the two characters, Peter and Jerry, is positively awe spired I cannot begin to describe how especially surprising it was to read about this particu [...]

    • A close and fast shot on the human it can be so brutal and wild some situations can reveal that monster we thought it was caged only in the zoo

    • For me, The American Dream and Zoo Story were both mind blowing plays Albee touches on the idiosyncracies of the Theatre of the Absurd, and the idea of Existentialism He also challenges the traditional state of normalcy and the widely accepted idea of the American Dream Both plays seem displaced, as if ripped from a page in a novel Although Albee dives right into the scenes, he is able to provide enough details for you to comprehend his messages What I couldn t figure out was the purpose of the [...]

    • Two works here by noted playwright Edward Albee They are both one acts, very brief bizarre plays that pack quite a punch.The Zoo Story concerns two men talking in Central Park one afternoon One is well to do publisher and the other a lonely drifter who has quite a story to tell In the end, both of them are changed forever, not in any metaphorical sense either It s the stronger of the two in this collection and is notable for being Albee s first work that ever made it to the stage.The American Dr [...]

    • Zoo Story, I love It s a play that everyone reads in high school and finds totally amazing I did, at least Looking over it again, I still love it I love the alienation, the loneliness the character who commits suicide describes The desperation, and the weird kinkiness of him, in foisting his death on a stranger with a wife, two girls, and a parakeet or something like that Did not like American Dream In fact, hated it I read it recently for the first time, after seeing a production of it at the C [...]

    • I d already read and thoroughly enjoyed a Zoo Story when I picked this up It was my first Albee play, and it lead me to read Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf , which became one of my favorite plays of all time I didn t like The American Dream as much as I like the two other plays of his that I ve read maybe because it seemed less polished but it has a lot of thematic and stylistic similarities in common with Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf , which I enjoyed From his preface, I believe that Albee wr [...]

    • Because I m old When you re old you gotta do something When you get old, you can t talk to people because people snap at you When you get so old, people talk to you that way That s why you become deaf, so you won t be able to hear people talking to you that way And that s why you go and hide under the covers in the big soft bed, so you won t feel that house shaking from people talking to you that way What s why old people die, eventually People talk to them that way I ve got to go and get the re [...]

    • The Zoo Story is an interesting examination and somewhat dismantlement of human interaction However, it talks to often in generalizations, especially since it solely pertains to New Yorkers and to men s experience Perhaps this is the point The American Dream essentially parodies a bunch of ninny s who are supposed to imitate a version of the nationilistic American Dream It ridicules the family unit the wife mommy , or weak woman who confirms the masculine behaviour of the man It satirises gender [...]

    • First, the Zoo Story the four star rating of the two Where Allegory meets the Absurd, where a long journey out gets told in order for a short journey back to be told Jerry s absurd existence makes him the scapegoat, the martyr, necessary for the salvation of Peter, his one disciple Jerry s zoo story happens in a flash so fast, you might even miss it By the time the ending arrives for this one act, it is too late to save anyone We are all its captives American Dream I thought too Ionesco esque fo [...]

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